James: My influences were really the guys I rode with when I was younger. Phil Weekley, Nick Tuttle, Zach Lamb and Ryan Folmer. They were all older than me and really good riders.
What contests did you enter on a regular basis when you first started competing?
James: I always rode the King Of Dirt Core tour contests because they were always at the beach and it was only about an hour from my house. My dad was awesome and totally supported me and took me to the contests.
Are you a competitive person or do you just want to progress your riding?
James: I don't really consider myself a competitive person, I'd say I just really want to progress my riding, but I also enjoy riding contests because I love riding with all my friends at them. I would like to do well at contests, and I try my hardest but I'm not gonna be too bothered if I don't do well.
No dirt at X. Your comment?
James: I'll put it this way, they take out dirt jumping for rally car racing and 50 ft. death ramp jumping. Which means to me, less kids will relate to bmx because no average kid can go rally car racing or jumping some huge death ramp, but any kid in the world can go get his bmx bike and a shovel and build dirt jumps in a field.
What contests do you enter this year?
James: I'm going to everything I can get to. I had a full time job and I saved all my money and quit to get to the Dew Tour and Elevation. Anything I can afford to go to, I'm going to. It's just hard at times because plane tickets and gasoline are so expensive.
Do you think there are enough dirt competitions these days?
James: I think there are enough, but I'd like to see more.
You have a German bike sponsor. How did that work out?
James: My friend Alfredo Mancuso got on the team and basically asked me if I wanted to ride for the as well. I liked the bikes so I said ok and KHE emailed me and that's really all there was to it.
What's your bike like?
James: It's awesome. It's under 5 lbs (I think) 74.75 ht, 20.5 tt, short back end, just very basic, light, and strong.
What's the deal with those skinny elbow pads? Do they actually work?
James: They just make me less scared to try stuff I think. All they really do is help my elbows get less scraped up when I fall on them, but they still get scraped up, just not as much as they would if I had nothing on.
What non-BMX hobbies do you have?
James: I love to work on my car and car electronics. I used to work as an installer and a car electronics shop, so I'm really into stereo systems, video systems, navigation, alarms, building custom subwoofer enclosures, all kinds of cool stuff. I basically live out of my van so I like the inside to sound good, and I pretty much watch movies all the time when I drive places. I put a train horn in my van recently and It's pretty fun honking it at people and scaring the shit out of them. I also love motocross, I actually grew up riding moto before I even rode bmx, but we didn't have enough money for me to continue it when I was younger. I'd like to get back into it and maybe try to compete in freestyle moto-x someday.
Do you go to school or do you have a job next to riding your bike?
James: No school, and I quit my car stereo shop job a few months ago to try and focus on just bmx.
4th place at Elevation and winner of the Best Trick contest, were you stoked on that?
James: That was one of the best weekends of my life. I had so much fun, and I couldn't be happier with how I did.
A little word association to finish up the interview:
-Triple tailwhip: scary
-Dew Tour: friends
-Europe: I wish
-Mini vans: awesome
-Crashing: hate it
-Shout out to: My Dad, Zach Lamb, Ryan Folmer (RIP), Bob at Staff BMX, Mark Losey, and all my awesome friends.